Do I have to study for the February LSAT over Christmas break?

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Curse you, LSAT!

Yes. Glad we got that out of the way. Now we can talk about how to do that without ruining the season. Here’s one quick and easy idea.

Make flashcards.

Yes, there is no technology whatsoever involved here, but it’s convenient and amazingly portable. Wanna study for thirty minutes while your SO shops it out? Then you can chill when you get home rather than worry. And what should be on those flashcards? Well of course they should be:

a. Sufficient and Necessary keywords. You must be on a first name basis with “only if,” “unless,” “no/none.” So make flashcards with one of those on the front and the associated diagram on the back. Come up with examples that are familiar to you or relevant to something you’re interested in. If Kanye’s recent actions have given you a glimmer of hope that Kim K may be back on the market soon, you might do something like this: I will be the next Mr. Kardashian unless Kanye gets a brain transplant. As every good student knows, “unless” is the same thing as “if not.” The resulting conditional statement, “If Kanye does NOT get a brain transplant, I will be Mr. K. The diagram: BT –> Mr.K. That way, you’ll be personally familiar with the rule by test day.

b. Argument structure keywords.
Know premise and conclusion key words. Make sure to note whether something is a premise or a conclusion, and — again — give yourself an example personal to you.

If you’ve gotten to them in your lessons by then:

c. Prevalent argument forms.
These babies show up in Lesson 5. Again, make flashcards with examples personal to you. Make an appeal to whatever authority you want.

e. Prevalent flaws. Lesson 6. You know the drill.

People hear that the LSAT doesn’t require outside information, and that’s taken to mean that you don’t have to memorize anything while studying to take it. WRONG. You need to have the concepts above down cold if you want to see a significant point increase. If you don’t, you won’t. Diagram that.

This is practice on nailing that stuff down that you can do in the car, in the loo (downside: you give up your phone for two minutes in the bathroom), anywhere you have downtime. Yes, the Blueprint app is available all the time on your phone. You should use it often over break as well, but, when it’s necessary to memorize something, there’s still no better option than the humble flashcard.

And that memorization is actually good practice for a little thing called the bar exam which is all memorization.

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